To completely understand the logo process for Gorge Photography, it is important to know some background on the company. Caleb Wheeler founded Gorge Photography in October, 2011. This coordinated well with our collaboration and launch of the gorge project on January 1, 2012. Caleb’s passion for photography has allowed him to transition his expertise into the professional realm. This process established an immediate need for a corporate identity. I initiated the development of Gorge Photography’s identity by delivering a logo that met Caleb’s specific needs.
Caleb was looking for a word mark logo that incorporated a San Serif font and an abstract aperture component. The idea was to merge these elements together and deliver a sophisticated design. Nothing tacky. The ultimate goal was to create a logo that was timeless and versatile.
The sketches for a logo process can take as many as 5-10 pages of “thumbnail sketches”. For this project however, my sketches only covered a quarter of a page and included a total of three thumbnail sketches. Normally (meaning never) is one page of sketches enough to make a client fall in love, hug you, or do anything else emotionally excessive. But this is what makes Caleb Wheeler special. He both approved and fell in love with the concept sketches.
From the sketches I created digital roughs. During the transition from paper to digital I focused heavily on my font selection and the logo’s aperture component. These elements were huge in developing the final logo.
I limited the font search to Sans Serif. The simplicity played heavily into the success of this final product. The following Sans Serif typefaces were considered: Helvetica, Univers, Trade Gothic and Myriad Pro. We decided on Helvetica. Within the Helvetica font family we used 75 Bold for the “GORGE” and 33 Thin Extended for “PHOTOGRAPHY”.
The aperture needed testing at different weights to find the best balance and unity between the thickness of Helvetica 75 Bold. If the aperture were too thin it got lost in-between the G and R, if it was too thick it detracted from the readability of the uppercase “GORGE” letters.
While developing the digital roughs into their final form, Caleb had one specific request. This was to span “PHOTOGRAPHY” over the edges of “GORGE” rather than keep the letters flush on each side. To do so effectively, I opened the tracking and changed the font from “Helvetica Thin” to “Helvetica Thin Extended” (thanks Henry). This allowed “GORGE” to have a more pronounced platform to sit on, while not overwhelming the thin stroke of “PHOTOGRAPHY”.
One more vital change was inverting the once black logo to a white and placing it on top of a 90% gray. This conversion brought the logo into its final form. The logo took on the sophistication that both Caleb and I were hoping for.
I ran into one major problem at this point. The aperture component of the logo could not hold up when the size was significantly reduced. The individual parts of the aperture were lost and molded into what appeared to be a single form. Even large, once we transitioned the logo onto a dark background the problem became more serious. Leaving the aperture as it was would have run the risk of losing the detail on any print job, as the ink would have filled in the thin lines separating the aperture.
I went back to the aperture and worked on the spacing and scaling of the separate pieces. Once this was completed the logo became far more versatile, working both in a large and reduced state. The aperture was no longer lost up against the dark background.
When I placed the final product next to the three initial sketches it became obvious that the logo morphed heavily from start to finish. This was OK, and in this situation favorable, as Caleb ended up with a solid base for developing his visual identity.
Caleb and I are extremely happy with the final product. The time has come to close this portion of the Gorge Photography Project and start working on the early components of the visual identity. First up we have the stationery. At the conclusion of that, Gorge Photography will officially have an identity on which to stand!
Thanks to Caleb Wheeler for initiating this project and seeing it through until the end. Also contributing was Henry Perez with design insight.